So I am waiting at the airport to catch my flight back to the 7 feet of snow I have in my backyard, while it’s 50 here. I had the opportunity to join Canadian Sun News Network as a SOFREP collaborator at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
The feeling I got is a shift in the Republican Party (GOP) towards more Libertarian politics. Seems like there is a tendency to go into a more isolationism stance with Rand Paul being voted the most popular speaker of the 2014 CPAC, for a second year in a row.
Many of you might wonder what SOFREP was doing there, as we mostly cover military affairs. Well, I can tell you that the speaker’s main focus was Obamacare and how the Democrats were bad, but a few of them really got into how the American Government needs to regain the superpower status they acquired since WWII.
Former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton spoke early on Monday, delivering a strong statement about Ukraine’s situation. “We’re not going to get peace through weakness,” he said, in regards to the Russia situation.
“It’s been 13 years since I started covering, reporting and documenting what our American heroes do. My heroes are not the people who catch passes in the end zone or set Olympic records, or even those who appear in comic books or creation of television in a spandex suit and a cape. In fact, my heroes wear flack jackets and combat boots and flight suits.”
He also added, “They put themselves at risk for the benefit of others. That’s the definition of a hero.”
North finished his speech by saying, “We must show our enemies both here and abroad that we are not just the land of the free, but also the home of the brave.”
Between dinner and drinks, I had the privilege of speaking with very good people who were troubled by the lack of American foreign policy. Although they were clearly in favour of sending the world a clear message on how the USA and allies wouldn’t tolerate actions such as the current event in Ukraine, they were also really troubled with the VA’s situation and current economic situation.
I had the chance to speak with an Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veteran, who is now in college, about how the VA was helping him with his transition to a civilian career. He asked me not to use his, name so I will honor it.
“I have PTSD related to combat events in Afghanistan and I am now struggling to rejoin the civilian world. The VA keeps screwing me with paperwork and I can’t deal with it anymore. No wonder the most successful organization that helps veterans are owned by them,” he said, referring to Wounded Warriors.
He is also an avid reader of SOFREP and wanted me to thank all the team for their efforts to provide such great quality of articles.
I also had the opportunity to speak twice on Patriot with David Webb and Andrew Wilkow about the Ukraine situation and CPAC.
But back to the CPAC.
Edward Snowden was the center of a debate on Tuesday morning. While the GOP called him a “traitor,” the Libertarians called him a “patriot.”
Former Governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore, a former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Agent, called him a “traitor” and that his decision to bring all the NSA’s actions to the mainstream media put the country at risk. He also defended that intelligence operations are essential to national security.
On the other side, Bruce Fein, a lawyer who was hired by Snowden’s family, said “Snowden is more of a patriot in Thomas Pain’s sense: someone who saves his country from his government.” He concluded his speech by saying that an increased risk of attacks is the price America pays for liberty.
I was surprised how National Defense wasn’t really part of the GOP agenda during their speeches. With this year’s election and the current world situations, CPAC speakers should have addressed more issues about homeland security and foreign policies.
Other issues were put on the table such as the Keystone XL pipeline, which could make both Canada and the USA less dependent on Middle East’s oil, providing cheaper prices and creating more jobs.
CPAC was a great experience for me and I intend to go back next year as they were things really worth listening too. As a Canadian, I believe that US politics greatly affects our country. I just hope more people from both sides of the border get more interested in politics and go vote! I always said that if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain.